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Sony and JVC Take Different Tacks in the High-End Camcorder Gamut

Conclusion

The contest between the progressive MonoCCD versus the triCCD interlaced hasn't produced a real winner. The JVC GR-PD1 produces a very sharp picture, thanks to its 25p progressive definition and its YUV output. On the other hand, the editing problems due to its MPEG-2 TS encoding heavily penalizes it as far as editing is concerned, which is a pity in view of the price. The Sony DCR-VX2100 has major ergonomic advantages while reproducing a very satisfactory image quality, especially in low light. All this leads us to advise you to choose whichever model best suits your needs:

Why Buy The GR-PD1 ?

  • I want to shoot in 25p progressive mode to get optimal image clarity;
  • I own a video projector, a monitor or a video capturing device with a Y / Pb / Pr input component;
  • I want to film in 16:9 with a wider field;
  • I like rather cool colors.

Why Buy The DCR-VX2100?

  • I'm looking for a very sensitive camcorder to film in low light;
  • I want to be able to edit easily using any kind of software;
  • I like having a wide viewfinder of excellent quality;
  • I want to be able to make very fine adjustments (shutter speed, exposure and sound);
  • I like warm colors.
SpecificationsSony DCR-VX2100JVC GR-PD1*
FormatMiniDVMiniDV
CompressionDVDV / MPEG-2
Scan50i50i / 50p / 25p
CCD capture3x450 000 pixels1.18 megapixels
CCD surface1/3"1/3"
Lens diameter58 mm52 mm
Optical zoom12x10x
Digital zoom48x200x
35 mm conversion43.2 - 518.4 mm40.3 - 403 mm (in 25p 16:9)
Minimum apertureF 1.6F 1.8
Minimum illumination1 lux1 lux
Shutter speed1/4 - 1/10 0001/12 - 1/1000
Viewfindercolor, 180,000 pixelscolor, 113,000 pixels
LCD display2.5", 200,000 pixels3.5", 200,000 pixels
Wide screen mode (16:9)anamorphicanamorphic wide
Photo supportMemory Stick / cassetteSD / cassette
Photo resolution640x4801280x960, 640x480
Tape loadingside-loading, 6 secondsside-loading, 8 seconds
DV in/outyes/yesyes/yes
A/V in/outyes/yesyes/yes
S-video in/outyes/yesyes/yes
YUV portnoyes
Mic inyesyes
Headphone jackyesyes
USB portyesyes
LANC inyesyes
Grip/ electricyes/yesyes/no
Flash/ lightingno/nono/no
Battery chargeron camcorderseparate charger
Battery life1 hour1 hour
Manual focusringring
Manual zoomringring
SoftwarenoMPEG-Edit Studio Pro, MPEG Capture
Weight, w/battery1.6 kg1.6 kg
Dimensions12.5 x 18 x 34.2 cm11.4 x 9.9 x 29 cm
Evaluation
Colorimetry**********
Definition*********
Sensitivity********
Optics*********
Ergonomics********
Connectivity*********
Value********
Overall score*********

* The North American equivalent is the JVC GR-HD1. As opposed to the JVC GR-PD1, this model shoots in high definition at 1280x720 pixels.